UK to phase in quarantine-free travel from amber countries this summer

This will impact France, which remains on the UK’s amber list in the UK’s new ‘traffic light’ review, and is for fully vaccinated travellers

25 June 2021

A passenger wearing a face mask at Manchester Airport in the UK Pic: Jon Fitton/ Shutterstock

The UK government has announced plans to progressively drop quarantine measures, initially for fully vaccinated people travelling back to the UK from amber-listed countries on an unspecified date this summer.

France is on the UK’s amber list and its status was not changed during a UK government update last night (June 24). 

The UK government states that its intention is “that later in the summer, arrivals who are fully vaccinated will not have to quarantine when travelling from amber list countries”.

It says that this will begin with UK residents only and it expects this ruling to “occur in phases”. 

The Connexion has asked the UK Department for Transport if this means that at a later date this ruling will also be applied to travellers from amber-list countries visiting, not returning to, the UK. We are awaiting a reply. 

Travellers returning to the UK from amber countries will still need to take a pre-departure Covid-19 test and a test on day two of their arrival, the UK government states. 

Further details are to be revealed next month. 

Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps said:

“We’re moving forward with efforts to safely reopen international travel this summer, and thanks to the success of our vaccination programme, we’re now able to consider removing the quarantine period for fully vaccinated UK arrivals from amber countries – showing a real sign of progress.”

Currently, all travellers - vaccinated or not - entering the UK from amber countries must quarantine for 10 days on arrival, and take Covid tests on days two and eight of that period. It is possible to leave the quarantine early by taking another test on day five. 

French President Emmanuel Macron has said the EU must take a coordinated approach to opening borders to non-EU countries, including the UK, due to concerns over the spread of the Delta variant of Covid-19. 

Rules to enter EU countries from the UK vary greatly with some countries, such as Germany and Belgium, requiring quarantine on arrival, and others, such as Spain, not even needing pre-departure tests. 

People in the UK who are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 can visit France for tourism or leisure reasons, as long as they have proof of a negative Covid-19 test. They do not need to quarantine on arrival.

People who are not fully vaccinated against Covid-19 can only enter if they have an essential reason, most of which involve having the right to live or work in France. For people with an essential reason, they will need to self-isolate for seven days on arrival.

Read more:

Macron urges EU states to coordinate rules for non-EU travellers

Checklist: New traffic-light Covid rules for travel to or from France

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